How to Check Your Wheel Hub Assembly: The Easy Guide!
Date Posted: 16 December 2019
What is the purpose of a wheel hub?
What is a wheel hub assembly kit? A wheel hub serves a number of different purposes on your vehicle, adding to both the safety and the performance of the ride. The wheel hub unit transfers both the vertical and lateral load from the wheel to the axel. This part essentially acts as the glue between tire and axel, with the former attached via studs to the assembly. With the hub assembly connecting two vital parts of the vehicle, a fault in the system can have dramatic and repercussive effects of the rest of the machine. While many people see the wheel hub assembly as one standalone part, it is actually made up of several smaller vital pieces. Inner and outer bearings sit on either side of the hub to reduce friction as the tire spins. These bearings must remain greased to reduce this friction. The entire hub assembly is held together by one central castle nut, which attaches the part to the axel. This castle nut is then further secured by something called a cotter pin. A grease or dust cap is usually fitted to the outside of the hub to reduce the risk of dirt, water, sand, and anything else from impeding the rotation of the tire. Essentially, this keeps the grease in and the dirt out.
What happens if the wheel hub is faulty? Can it be dangerous?
Driving with a damaged or worn wheel hub assembly is dangerous, especially if you are doing so knowingly. You are putting yourself, your passengers, and other people on the road at risk by driving a damaged car. The wheel hub is an essential part of your vehicle, connecting the wheel to the axel. A worn hub can have a negative effect on the braking ability of your vehicle and the steering functionality. Even worse, if a wheel bearing is missing completely, the wheel could actually fall off completely while in motion. This can be especially dangerous when driving at high speeds down a highway or motorway. If you hear or see one of the tell-tale signs that your wheel hub may be faulty or need replacing, you should either book it in with a licensed mechanic.
What are the symptoms of a bad wheel hub?
Unfortunately, as a major component of your vehicle, the wheel hub assembly is prone to damage, wear, and tear. Something as insignificant as going over a speed bump too fast or hitting a pothole can cause damage eventually while being involved in a vehicle collision can be a major source of pain for your assembly. When your hub assembly is worn and needs a change, there will likely be a number of signs to look out for. When the bearing itself is beginning to wear, it will emit a roaring sound from the wheel area of your vehicle, which sounds similar to metal grinding on metal. If your steering wheel is starting to vibrate or feels looser than normal, this may also be a sign that the assembly has been damaged, particularly when you accelerate. This is usually down to a worn bearing. A clicking sound from the wheels can also hint towards a broken wheel bearing, as the brake caliper hits the top of the wheels when accelerating. More often than not, wheel hub assembly damage is red-flagged by a mechanic, breakdown service, oil change service, or something similar. Once your vehicle is up in the air on a hydraulic lift, the damage is easily spotted as the tire/wheel combination will appear tight but still wiggles side to side or up and down.
The wheel hub itself can cost anything from around $60 up into the hundreds. This usually depends on the make and model of the vehicle in question, as well as who you are buying the part from. While replacing a wheel hub is something you can do yourself, this comes with some dangerous risks. If fitted incorrectly, the wrong grease is used, nuts are not tightened, and a wheel alignment is not carried out when needed, it can put you in severe danger on the roads. This is why the more sensible decision is always to take the car to a licensed mechanic. The labor involved with hub assembly replacement usually runs from $70 to $90, which means your total costs of repair can easily run well over $200 in total. This is why many people are now opting to buy the parts they need themselves. But how exactly do you change a hub and what information do you need to know beforehand?
How do you remove and replace a wheel hub?
Visiting a licensed mechanic is always the best course of action when it comes to replacing your wheel hub, but you may be interested to know how it is done. Before you start this process, be sure that you have all the necessary tools, as well as the correct replacement wheel hub. These parts are not one-size-fits all, so look up exactly which type of hub you need first. Ensure you look up how many stud holes should be on your hub assembly, which will usually be four or five. The bolt hole diameter is also a figure you will need to measure, as well as the size of your inner and outer bearings. This information will allow you to order the perfect wheel hub assembly for your specific vehicle and model. Beyond that, your normal household toolbox with the likes of a hammer, pliers, a wrench will suffice. It is also wise to have some bearing grease on hand, as well as a solvent of some kind to dissolve away any dried old grease on your hub’s inner and outer bearings. One you have all the correct equipment, it’s time to actually install the hub itself. Undo the bolts holding your existing wheel hub in place and slip the entire unit off. Then apply a layer of grease onto the inside of your new hub before sliding it on, although nothing more than a thin layer is needed. Tighten your wheel hub in place, but don’t tighten beyond what feels necessary. Your assembly should be able to move around a quarter of an inch, but nothing more.
Wheel hubs at Machter Auto
Machter Auto offers a wide range of incredible vehicle parts for their loyal customers across Australia. They pride themselves on guaranteed lowest prices, fast delivery, two-year local warranty, and expert services. The dedicated members of the Machter Auto team are always on hand to explain and advise with regards to your vehicle issue. Each and every product and part is researched and examined by the Machter team, meaning you are guaranteed an expert opinion every time. When it comes to something like changing your own wheel hub assembly, having that extra dose of experience and knowledge can make all the difference. With Machter’s extensive range of parts, you can source all the bits you need to replace the hub assembly, without having to shell out for enormous bills mechanics may charge to source the parts themselves. Check out the Machter Autoparts website today for everything you need for your next wheel hub assembly replacement.